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Leading change: How leaders can foster the embrace of change

Leading change: How leaders can foster the embrace of change

From the chrysalis, the beautiful butterfly is born. From the acorn, the mighty oak grows. Change is one of the few certainties in your life. It can be unexpected. It can feel disorientating and unwelcome, it creates disruption and pushes us out of our comfort zones. It can lead people to feel afraid of what the future holds.

Rather than resisting change, which is often futile anyway, people that have learned to embrace change are often better able to capitalise on the opportunities that inevitably follow in change’s footsteps.

In this article, we list 3 good reasons why people should embrace change as an important trigger for personal and professional growth – and how leaders can create the environment where change is embraced.

Reason 1. Embracing change is less stressful than fighting it

As an individual, you might not like all changes that come your way. This too is a fact of life. Instead of looking at change in fear, turn your thinking to the opportunities that follow in change’s wake. Every change is a turning point – you may not be able to control your environment and the change that goes on within it, but you can control how you manage it.

As a leader, you need to set the expectation with your team that change is inevitable. By setting expectations early, you avoid team members from feeling blindsided when change occurs. If you set your vision as a dynamic, evolving organisation, your team will be better prepared for shifts that happen.

Reason 2. Change can be habit forming.

At an individual level, every time something in your life changes, so do you. Who wants to live a completely staid, predictable and boring life? Progress is the outcome of change, not standing still. People that manage change well, especially career or role changes, understand that each change brings new skills, new knowledge and new opportunities. The days of staying in one job for life are long gone. Whether you change within your company, or move to another, there is no negative stigma these days with pursuing a career that is in line with your interests, values and skills.

As a leader, it’s important to be honest with your team. Even when change is positive, your team will immediately think “how will this affect me?” If the change is negative, don’t pretend it’s positive because your team will see straight through it. Give your team time to absorb the changes being undertaken and invite them to ask questions. It will take time to move the team in line with change, especially if it’s difficult changes that are being implemented.

Reason 3. Change can be habit forming.

Travellers learn to embrace diverse cultures, changing the way they see the world. Their mind is expanded by these new experiences and the “travel bug” is simply the habit of wanting more of it.

People that experience change more regularly learn flexibility, adaptability and to prioritise change as a positive way to build experiences, knowledge and skills. In other words, the more you experience change, the more you get used to it. Just as habit is the result of a repetitive situation, when change is a normal part of a team’s working life, they are more likely to embrace it.

As a leader, you work in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Leaders who can plan for change and remain dynamic, and who listen to and adapt quickly to a changing environment, are the ones who remain successful.


How Leaders can prepare for change

The process of change can be highly disruptive in the workplace. Knowing the predictable reactions to change and how to prepare for them can significantly reduce both the distraction and the negative impacts of change and improve the engagement and uptake of all those affected.

Our sister division Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Leading Others Through Change that covers human reactions to change, consistent messaging, how to support fearful staff and more.

Download the course outline: Leading Others Through Change >>

In planning change initiatives, it is important to consider the time it takes for people to transition, to learn new skills and to move through the emotional journey associated with change. Change can feel overwhelming and leave people feeling exhausted.

Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Preventing Change Fatigue that covers identifying the symptoms of change fatigue, planning for the impacts of change, developing personal coping mechanisms and more.

Download the course outline: Preventing Change Fatigue >>

When change is transformational, organisations experience a fundamental shift in “how things are done around here”. Engagement, buy-in and behavioural change are key to the change success.

Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Building Commitment to Cultural Transformation that covers the readiness for change, influencing skills, cultural change process and tools, engaging hearts and minds and more.

Download the course outline: Building Commitment to Cultural Transformation >>

Visit Leadership Dimensions

Want to elevate your leadership capacity?

Safety Dimensions offers accredited and non-accredited leadership training for emerging leaders. Through our training, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate, set clear priorities, build team cohesiveness and implement operational plans and continuous improvement.

Want this program customised for your workplace and industry?
Call 1300 453 555 or email info@safetydimensions.com.au

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The link between WHS & your bottom line

The link between WHS & your bottom line

Evidence shows that organisations who invest in health and safety culture have a competitive advantage.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looked at the financial growth of public companies that scored highly in the Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) nominations. The CHAA awards recognise the healthiest, safest companies and organisations in North America and aim to raise awareness of best practices in workplace health and safety programs.1

As part of their application for the awards, organisations presented trend data showing a reduction of health risk, health-cost savings, or other impact on the business as a result of their safety, wellness, and health programs as well as their leadership and management culture.

Using this data, researchers took the top 17 performing companies and created stock market investment scenario, analysing the period spanning 2001 to 2014, using a hypothetical investment of $10,000.

The results?

Companies who did well in health and safety performance achieved a 333% return, compared to the stock market (S&P 500 index) return of 105% during the same period.

Even in the lowest-performing scenario, the CHAA companies achieved a 204% return, compared to an S&P return of 105% during the same period.

This research may have also identified an association between companies that focus on health and safety and companies that manage other aspects of their business equally well.

The modelling suggests that organisation that invested significantly in health and safety programs can outperform other companies in the marketplace.


REFERENCE:
Tracking the Market Performance of Companies That Integrate a Culture of Health and Safety: An Assessment of Corporate Health Achievement Award Applicants. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. January 2016 – Volume 58 – Issue 1 – p 3–8 doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000638.

Want to transform your organisation's safety culture?

Safety Dimensions offers accredited and non-accredited leadership training for leaders, safety professionals and employees
to support organisations to effectively deal with safety performance challenges.

We can train anywhere in Australia and our programs can be customised for your workplace and industry.
Call 1300 453 555 or email info@safetydimensions.com.au

Learn More About Our Foundational Behavioral Safety Program

Focusing on shifting individual attitudes and mindsets regarding how safety is viewed in the workplace, this program also teaches new skills and knowledge to embed behaviour change at an individual and organisational level.

Find out more and download the course outline below or call us on 1300 453 555.

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Safety programs needs hearts and minds to succeed

Safety programs needs hearts and minds to succeed

One of the most difficult things about creating a strong safety culture is engaging the hearts and minds of everyone in your organisation to take ownership of safety – regardless of their title or job function.

Even with excellent systems and processes and an understanding your legal obligations – as behavioural specialists – we know if people really don’t perceive their actions could cause harm, changing their behaviour is very hard.

In addition to great systems and processes, whether in the Learning and Development area or Safety, you need to focus on 4 areas to shift safety culture, or implement any change process. These are 4 vital areas that underpin any attempt to shift behaviour.

They are:

Without your organisation having these 4 areas working together to engage the hearts and minds of supervisors, managers and leaders – they will say the same thing over and over, and incidents will keep repeating over and over. Neglecting any of those 4 areas is at best case, a recipe for frustration and fear – and in the worst case could lead to injuries and potential fatalities.

Think about the statements below – are they being driven by Values, Beliefs, Mindset or Attitude?

  • It won’t happen to me?
  • It will be quicker to do it this way?
  • I will get in trouble if I stop
  • I’ve always done it this way
  • Wrap me in bubble wrap why don’t you
  • Someone else will handle what I just saw
  • Phew! close call but we got there

It’s almost guaranteed that if you have put all the tools and systems in place and you’re not getting improvements in your safety/ leadership culture or safety statistics – then it’s a failure for your organisation to engage Values + Beliefs + Mindset + Attitude.

There is also one more critical factor that supports this – role modelling.
If as a leader, you don’t embody the attributes that you want to see in your people and ‘walk the talk’ – changing others is impossible.

Thankfully shifting VBMA’s, (and therefore Hearts and Minds) doesn’t have to be difficult – it can be done en-masse with a well-structured training program.

It is because of this understanding we work with leaders on the Hearts and Minds before cascading any safety leadership program throughout an organisation.

To find out more about a bespoke Hearts and Minds program tailored to your organisation’s challenges and potential click contact us here.

Ready To Engage Hearts & Minds?

Learn More About Our Foundational Behavioral Safety Program

Focusing on shifting individual attitudes and mindsets regarding how safety is viewed in the workplace,
this program also teaches new skills and knowledge to embed behaviour change at an individual and organisational level.

Find out more and download the course outline below or call us on 1300 453 555.

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5 Tips For Working Successfully With Sub-Contractors

5 Tips For Working Successfully With Sub-Contractors

Organisations are increasingly including subcontractors in their internal training so everyone is aligned under a single Health & Safety framework.  Not only is this beneficial for alignment of safety behaviours,  but from a WHS compliance perspective you have a duty of care to everyone who walks on site – and this includes your subcontractors.

Here are 5 things you should do to meet your WHS obligations and make partnering with your subcontractors run smoothly.

 

1. Know your obligations

Do you know your legal obligations when it comes to your subcontractors?
If you don’t know how can you plan to be compliant?

PCBUs (Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking) must ensure the health and safety of all workers at work in the business or undertaking:

  • who are engaged or are caused to be engaged by the PCBU – this includes subcontractors.
  • whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the PCBU.

You can also check out our video below “WHAT AM I ACCOUNTABLE FOR?” about your general obligations.

2. Align subbies with your Safety Culture

Get them involved in your internal safety training. They can’t meet your standards if they don’t know what your standards are. Training should focus on how to build a partnership with your subcontactors, rather than micro-managing your subcontractors.

3. Appropriate supervision

Have regular project meetings to address whether your subcontractors performance is meeting the project’s safety and quality requirements. Keep a record of your communications which you share with subcontractors so everyone is clear on who needs to do what, when and how.

4. Two-way communication

There should be two way communications between you and your subcontractor. Always be approachable and communicate clearly and succinctly so there’s no room for miscommunication or errors.  When the lines of communication are easy and each side knows the expectations, issues can get resolved more quickly and more gets accomplished.

5. Give them feedback

When you need to give your subcontractor feedback, do it in a way in a way that encourages continuous improvement rather than blame, remediation instead of retaliation.

Want to learn how to manage subcontractors?

Lean to effectively manage WHS site risks and performance by learning how to effectively select, manage and monitor the complex and difficult world of subcontractors.

Find out more and download the course outline below or call us on 1300 453 555.

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What makes good adult learning?

What makes good adult learning?

We work everyday with large companies with diverse groups of learners and talk a lot about what makes good adult learning. How do you build and facilitate really great learning experiences?

It’s common to have group of learners in our training who work on the frontline who are technically proficient and may have left formal schooling in their mid-teens. They know their jobs well and are considered functional experts, but when they come into a training environment, there are many reasons they may not want to take part.

Firstly, context. They don’t see the value of the training they’ve been asked to attend, especially if it’s not a required technical license. Organisations need to explain to learners why the organisation is undertaking the training, what the training seeks to achieve, why it’s important to have everyone in the organisation on the same page and most importantly give learners the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – what will that leaner take away that will enrich them?

Coming into a learning environment with pre-conceived ideas of how the training is going to go is not something restricted to frontline workers – we see barriers to coming to the training room in many all levels.

Tertiary educated people often come to training with the idea that everything they needed to know for the work environment was covered in their formal education. Again, they may lack understanding of the context for the training. Alternatively, some are concerned that their shortfalls might be shown up in a certain way during the learning experience. The latter is termed ‘imposter syndrome’ – the fear of being exposed that ´maybe I’m not as brilliant as everyone thinks I am, and I’m going to be found out any second!

As adults we can carry any negative experiences of past education and learning into the training room –a good trainer will move through this with learners. Sitting for a day concerned about being “found out”, anxious that you should be doing something else, or feeling you’re in an environment where you can’t make mistakes because you’re supposed to be the ‘expert’ is not a positive place to learn from, and gets in the way of fully engaging.

As workers, we often work in areas we are comfortable and can exhibit competence and tend to avoid areas we feel exposed for what we don’t know. However the learning environment is different – it’s there to show where there are gaps in knowledge.

So how do good trainers address this?

When we start our training we undertake a learner comfort ‘piece’.  A trainer or facilitator’s responsibility is not only about transferring learning but about building learning comfort for learners.

The learning environment should challenge us to take different perspectives and a great trainer is an expert at creating an environment where people feel safe going beyond their comfort zone. We try to make our training an open space for learners to be okay to talk about it, but often it takes a lot for the learner to do that until we build trust with each other, which is one of our team of trainers strengths.

All our trainers spend the first part of any program engaging all learners in different ways, identifying learner’s styles and addressing any concerns in the room. Our trainers have a lot of experience, great content and interesting ways of connecting with learners across different audiences.

Another aspect that can’t be underestimated is the sense of community that builds when training groups come together and barriers come down as the training progresses. This can be a powerful experience both when groups are cross functional or are teams that work together in the same role every day. The ability of trainers to present ideas, ask curious questions and create a space for learners to explore and question themselves and each other can create a deep understanding and connection between colleagues that can drive change in organisations.

When talking to prospective clients, we are always very clear on our strength in engaging the learners – how well we deliver on effective adult learning.
Great program content is nothing if it’s not delivered well – our trainers are experts at being able to make things very practical, relevant and put the learner front of mind, which also means our trainers have the skills to be able to adapt their approach to what’s happening in the moment.

Could your internal trainers use these skills?

Many organisations undertake internal training or transferring of information on a daily basis –  whether it be group training or one on one transfer of job skill information from one employee to another. For your internal trainers, understanding adult learning and how to create the best environment for people to take in information is important.

We have programs that can assist your employees responsible for training or upskilling others in your organisation to achieve this successfully.

You can support your staff who train others with these programs:

Train the Trainer Program – 2 Days >>

TAELLN411 Address Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Skills – 1 Day >>

 

Financial Fundamentals – Making Sense of the Numbers

Financial Fundamentals – Making Sense of the Numbers

“Understanding the numbers” often creates a feeling of dread in leaders who are experts in their field, but haven’t come from a financial background.

From understanding budgets, profitability and financial jargon, the ability and confidence to understand the “money side of things” is a foundation skill for managing projects and performance. Many organisations (rightly) promote people into leadership positions because they excel at their job but find it difficult to access the right support to boost their leaders understanding of the financial aspects of management.

Our new one-day ‘Financial Fundamentals’ program has been designed to demystify jargon, create relevance and understanding plus give learners what they need to do know in order to make effective decisions. By the end of the day learners will know how to; determine the resource requirements for a job, efficiently and profitably acquire and allocate resources, manage budgets, measure results and produce reports.

This program helps people to understand how the decisions they make on a daily basis can affect the project profitability and the overall bottom line.

Topics include:

Demystifying financial language

  • Developing business acumen
  • Understanding financial jargon

Developing a profitability mindset

  • The real cost of business and improving site profit
  • Procuring goods and services
  • Managing subcontracted labour

Budgets and work orders

  • Planning and projecting budgets
  • Managing financial risk
  • Project collaboration

Making commercial decisions

  • Making decisions under pressure
  • Managing variations and scope creep

Monitoring and reporting

  • Monitoring performance against the agreed scope
  • Reporting project outcomes

This program is built on the competencies of the nationally recognised unit BSBADM409 Coordinate Business Resources, which is a unit of the BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management. Participants will leave with a statement of attainment for this unit, which can count towards the Certificate program.

Want this program customised for your workplace?

We can customise this program for your specific industry and workplace and deliver it on-site all around Australia.

Call us on 1300 453 555, internationally on +613 9510 0477 or use our contact form.